I learned that in the past it was acceptable to use "for" to mean "because", but I also learned that it's not acceptable anymore. When I need to write some texts in English, I often type them in Google Translator in my mother language and then I just check for any grammatical errors (because I'm lazy sometimes). Google often uses "for" as in the following sentence:

His eyes widened and he was speechless, for he was sure that the darkness in the room was an absence of physical light, when in actuality it was due to the absence of spiritual light.

The above example was taken from a 2009 book and the author is young.

I like to use "for" in this way to be honest but I'm afraid it's something archaic. But if it's archaic I don't know why many books have "for" used in this way and why Google Translator keeps giving me it instead of "because".

  • 1
    Yeah. As is usually the case the two are not exact synonyms -- there different are subtle implications to each. But in this context you can consider them to be equivalent, at least as a first approximation.
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 23, 2017 at 2:49

1 Answer 1


"For" isn't an archaic substitute for "because," but it's more commonly used in academic writing. I'm working on a novel, and my editor chided me for using "for" too much. She said it made my writing seem stiff and formal.

  • good luck with your book. Jun 22, 2017 at 22:46

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